New Look to axe up to 980 jobs under rescue plans

Up to 980 jobs are being axed at embattled retailer New Look under proposals to shut 60 stores and slash rent on nearly 400 shops as part of a rescue plan.

New Look said it was looking to close nearly 10% of its 593-strong UK store estate, with a further six sites that are sub-let also due to shut as it pushes ahead with a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

It said the closures would lead to redundancies, with up to 980 jobs out of its workforce of 15,300 under threat, although it said it would look to redeploy staff where possible.

Its rescue plan will also see the group ask landlords to slash the rent and revise leases on 393 stores across the UK.

Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman of New Look, said: "Given our challenged trading performance and over-rented UK store estate, we are having to take tough but necessary actions to reduce our fixed cost base and restore long-term profitability."

New Look confirmed that all stores will remain open as normal until creditors vote on the CVA proposal on March 21.

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